Jackie Northam

Jackie Northam is Foreign Affairs correspondent for NPR news. The veteran journalist has more than two decades of experience covering the world's hot spots and reporting on a broad tapestry of international and foreign policy issues.

Based in Washington, D.C., Northam is assigned to the leading stories of the day, traveling regularly overseas to report the news - from Afghanistan and Pakistan, to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Northam just completed a five year stint as NPR's National Security Correspondent, covering US defense and intelligence policies. She led the network's coverage of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, traveling regularly to the controversial base to report on conditions there, and on US efforts to prosecute detainees.

Northam spent more than a decade as a foreign correspondent. She reported from Beirut during the war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006, from Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and from Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. She lived in and reported extensively from Southeast Asia, Indochina, and Eastern Europe, where she charted the fall of communism.

While based in Nairobi, Kenya, Northam covered the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. She managed to enter the country just days after the slaughter of ethnic Tutsis began by hitching a ride with a French priest who was helping Rwandans escape to neighboring Burundi.

A native of Canada, Northam's first overseas reporting post was London, where she spent seven years covering stories on Margaret Thatcher's Britain and efforts to create the European Union.

Northam has received multiple journalism awards during her career, including Associated Press awards, regional Edward R. Murrow awards, and was part of an NPR team journalists that won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

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Middle East
4:18 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Netanyahu To Preview Speech To Congress Before AIPAC Conference

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:15 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, Longtime President Of Notre Dame University, Dies

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, longtime president of the University of Notre Dame, was influential in reshaping Catholic higher education.
Joe Raymond AP

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 4:21 pm

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, a former president of the University of Notre Dame who tangled with the Nixon administration, died late Thursday. He was 97.

For those who knew him, Hesburgh was simply Father Ted. But make no mistake, he was a highly influential priest who moved among presidents and popes. During his 35 years as president of Notre Dome, he reinforced the importance of a college education and urged that it be affordable and accessible to all.

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Toronto Police Try To Uncover Riddle Of Mystery Tunnel

Deputy Chief Mark Saunders speaks at a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday. A mysterious tunnel discovered in Toronto near one of the venues for this summer's Pan American Games contained a rosary with a crucifix and poppy. Police said there is nothing to suggest the tunnel was linked to criminal activity.
Aaron Harris Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 12:04 pm

Police in Toronto are asking for the public's help to solve the riddle of a mysterious tunnel discovered more than a month ago. Investigations have so far been unable to determine who built the tunnel or its purpose, but its discovery has fueled security concerns ahead of the Pan American and Parapan American Games in Canada this summer.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Secret Service To Fly Drones Over Washington, D.C.

Secret Service officers search the White House grounds on Jan. 26 after an unmanned aerial drone was found there during the middle of the night.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 12:32 pm

Tourists may soon have a new attraction to look at when they visit the nation's capital. The U.S. Secret Service says it will begin flying drones over Washington, D.C., in the near future.

The decision comes just weeks after a small unmanned — and unarmed — drone landed on White House property. In late January, as we've reported, a government employee lost control of the "quad copter," crashing it in the early morning hours.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

3 Missing Teenage Girls Now In Syria, British Police Say

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 3:13 pm

British police say three teenage girls believed to have run away to join Islamist extremists have now crossed into Syria. The girls, ages 15 and 16, left their London homes Feb. 17 and boarded flights for Istanbul. Police think they then crossed the border into Syria hoping to join up with militants from the so-called Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Tue February 24, 2015

19 Stuck Manatees Rescued From Florida Storm Drain

In this photo taken Aug. 6, 2014, a manatee comes up for a breath of air at the Miami Seaquarium in Key Biscayne, Fla.
Alan Diaz ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Rescue crews worked through the night to free 19 manatees that had gotten stuck in a storm drain in Satellite Beach, Fla. It's believed the massive, lumbering mammals, in search of warm water after a recent cold snap, swam into a large drainage pipe near Cape Canaveral but were unable to turn around to get out.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Justice Department Appeals Ruling Blocking Obama's Immigration Plan

President Obama speaks about immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas in November, after taking a series of executive actions.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:23 pm

The U.S. Justice Department is asking a federal judge to put on hold his ruling that temporarily blocks President Obama's executive action that would protect more than 4 million people in this country illegally from the threat of deportation.

In its motion to stay, the Justice Department said U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen "lacked authority to issue the preliminary injunction."

Justice Department officials also filed an appeal of Hanen's decision and asked that the executive action move forward while the appeals process is underway.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Australia Announces Security Crackdown Amid 'Rising' Terrorist Threat

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks about his nation's new anti-extremism strategy on Monday in Canberra, Australia.
Rob Griffith AP

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:45 am

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has introduced a raft of tough new measures aimed at countering what he called the rising threat of terrorism.

Abbott announced the national security crackdown one day after the release of a review of Australia's counterterrrorism operations and a report on a deadly attack in a Sydney cafe in December that left three people dead.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Arctic Temperatures Create Enormous Ice Formations At Niagara Falls

A partially frozen American Falls in sub-freezing temperatures is seen in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on Tuesday. Temperature dropped to 6 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning for western New York from midnight Wednesday to Friday.
Lindsay DeDario Reuters/Landov

The Arctic cold snap that has gripped much of the U.S. lately may be causing hardship for many, but it's also creating some spectacular ice formations at Niagara Falls. The spectacle is drawing huge crowds on both the Canadian and American side of the border.

The air temperature is so cold that the water and mist coming off the falls is frozen in place. Some of the formations look like massive boulders, others look like long shards of white glass.

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Fri February 20, 2015

YouTube Is Expected To Unveil New App Just For Kids

YouTube Kids
YouTube

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 1:48 pm

There's some relief on the way for parents who worry what their young children may be watching on the internet. YouTube is set to release a new app that will offer more age-appropriate viewing for kids. An official with YouTube says the app - YouTube Kids - is due to be released by Google on Monday. It will initially be available only on Android devices.

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The Two-Way
3:32 am
Fri February 20, 2015

U.S. West Coast Port Dispute Forces Shippers To Find Alternatives

Trucks move containers at the Port of Long Beach in California on Tuesday. Contract negotiations between dockworkers and shipping companies have led to a slowdown on the piers.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 3:52 pm

The global shipping industry is a ferociously competitive business, and the trans-Pacific route — from Asia to the West Coast seaports of the U.S. — is considered one of the most lucrative routes. Normally, cargo ships carrying everything from fruits and vegetables to cars and electronics can count on getting into a berth at one of the 29 West Coast seaports in a reasonable time.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

British Fighter Jets Escort Russian Bombers Away From Coast Of U.K.

In this photo provided by Britain's Royal Air Force, taken Oct. 29, 2014, a Russian military long-range bomber aircraft photographed by an intercepting RAF Typhoon flies in international airspace.
Robyn Stewart AP

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:12 pm

British fighter jets scrambled from their base on Wednesday after two Russian long-range bombers skirted the coast of Cornwall, in the southwest of England. The incident comes one day after British Foreign Secretary Michael Fallon warned about Russia's intentions in Europe.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Wal-Mart Gives 500,000 Employees A Pay Raise

Wal-Mart says it will raise hourly wages for thousands of full- and part-time employees.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:29 pm

Some 500,000 Wal-Mart employees will soon be getting a pay raise. Starting in April, the company's full- and part-time U.S. employees will earn at least $9 an hour, at least $1.75 above today's federal minimum wage.

The pay boost will also apply to employees of Sam's Club, which is owned by Wal-Mart.

The retailer says wages will jump to at least $10 one year from now.

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News
3:01 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

U.N. Security Council Passes Resolution Targeting ISIS Revenue

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 4:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Australia To Compete In The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest

Singer Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark. Wurst, who won the competition, placed seventh on Google's list of 2014's fastest-rising global search requests.
Frank Augstein AP

If you open an atlas, you'd see pretty quick that Australia is nowhere near Europe. That doesn't seem to matter to the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest, who have decided that Australia can compete this year. The decision to allow Australia into the 2015 competition for the first time was announced on a Eurovision website, followed by the line: "Yes, you read that right!"

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Tue February 10, 2015

U.S. State Department Suspends Operations In Yemen

Supporters of Houthi Shiites, who took over the government of Yemen and installed a new committee to govern, dance with traditional daggers at a rally in support of the Houthis, at a sports stadium in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015.
Hani Mohammed AP

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 12:00 pm

The U.S. embassy in Yemen is suspending operations because of the deteriorating security situation. The country has been gripped by turmoil since President Abd Rabuh Mansur Hadi and his cabinet resigned in January. Shiite Houthi rebels have since seized control of the capital, Sanaa, placed Hadi and his ministers under arrest and announced plans to form another another government.

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Putin Presents Egyptian Leader With An AK-47

Russian President Vladimir Putin presents Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi an AK-47 assault rifle upon his arrival at the Cairo International Airport in Egypt on Monday.
AP

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 12:47 pm

It's not unusual for world leaders to present their host with a gift when they visit a foreign country. But an assault weapon? Russian President Vladimir Putin gave Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi a Kalashnikov AK-47 shortly after arriving in Cairo Monday evening for talks. The weapon, a longtime favorite of rebel groups across the world, was nestled in a gun case.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Obama Defends Decision Not To Meet With Netanyahu During D.C. Visit

President Barack Obama gestures during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 2:07 pm

President Obama is defending his decision not to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during Netanyahu's upcoming visit to Washington. The prime minister was invited by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to address a joint meeting of Congress on March 3.

The White House was not told of the invitation until shortly before it was made public. Obama said meeting with Netanyahu while he's in Washington would break protocol. Netanyahu is due to make his address just two weeks before Israel's general election.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Donations Roll In For Detroit Man Who Walks 21 Miles To Work

James Robertson, 56, has been making headlines for walking more than 20 miles to and from work every weekday in Detroit.
Ryan Garza Detroit Free Press/TNS/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 8:53 pm

It took just one newspaper article to change James Robertson's life.

Last Sunday, the Detroit Free Press ran a front page story about the 56-year-old factory worker. It said every weekday for a decade, Robertson has left his house and walked more than 20 miles to and from his job in suburban Detroit. Robertson's car had broken down years before and so he made a long and lonely commute on foot in every kind of weather.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

All-Female Jihadi Group Delivers Guide To Life Under Islamic State

Smoke rises behind an Islamic State flag after a Nov. 24, 2014, battle with Iraqi security forces in Diyala province.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 2:37 pm

It is considered legitimate for a girl to be married at the age of 9, most "pure" girls will be married by 16 or 17, and there is no greater responsibility for a woman than being a wife to her husband.

Those are just some of the statements laid out in a manifesto published by female fighters of the so-called Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Thousands Of Cats Destined For Vietnamese Tables Are Buried Instead

This picture taken on Jan. 27, 2015 shows a seized cat in one of the cages being transported in a truck in Hanoi.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 11:34 am

Vietnamese authorities have buried thousands of cats, many of them apparently still alive, that were destined for restaurant tables. The Associated Press says the felines were culled because they posed an environmental and health risk.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Alberta Premier Says Keystone XL Pipeline Benefits U.S. And Canada

A placard with the Canadian flag rests on the ground covered in oil as demonstrators protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Alberta tar sands.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 12:34 pm

Jim Prentice, the premier of Alberta, Canada, says the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline has been a long and tortured process. But, he adds, if President Obama vetoes a bill that would approve construction, the issue will not necessarily go away.

There is enormous opposition among environmentalists to the $8 billion pipeline project that's designed to bring crude oil extracted from the Canadian tar sands to refineries along America's Gulf Coast.

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Tue February 3, 2015

New York State Clamps Down On Herbal Supplements

DNA tests were run on supplements claiming to contain ginko bilboa, St. John's wort, ginseng and echinacea.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 5:05 pm

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Target says it will pull the supplements identified by the New York attorney general from its stores and website. The company says, with its vendor, it will investigate and will cooperate with the attorney general.

Walmart says it will pull the items from its shelves in New York, and that "based on testing performed by our suppliers we have not found any issues with the relevant products."

Original post:

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Detroit Man Who Commutes 21 Miles A Day On Foot Will Get A Hand

James Robertson, 56, walks to catch a bus in Detroit last month. The bus won't take him all the way to his job in Rochester Hills, so he has to walk the last eight miles.
Ryan Garza Detroit Free Press/TNS/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 5:29 pm

In many U.S. cities, a 21-mile round-trip commute can take a long time, but imagine if you had to make the journey on foot. The Detroit Free Press says that's exactly what James Robertson does every workday.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Egyptian Court Condemns 183 To Death In Mass Trial

An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced 183 people to death on charges of killing policemen during an uprising in 2013. The convictions were handed down as part of a mass death sentence, as the Egyptian government cracks down on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which it considers a terrorist organization.

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Parallels
2:25 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Where Is All That Excess Oil Going?

Tankers are berthed beside the Fawley oil refinery on Jan. 7, in Southampton, England. With low oil prices, some traders are buying oil and storing it in tankers, hoping the price will rise soon so they can sell it at a profit.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:57 pm

There's a term traders use when the price of a commodity like oil has fallen because of oversupply but seems guaranteed to rise again.

It's a market that's "in contango," says Brenda Shaffer, an energy specialist at Georgetown University. "It almost sounds like a sort of great oil dance or something."

And Shaffer says that some oil speculators see an oil market that is in contango in a major way.

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Parallels
1:24 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Tiger Skins And Rhino Horns: Can A Trade Deal Halt The Trafficking?

Coleen Schaefer (left) and Doni Sprague display a tiger pelt that was confiscated and is being stored at the National Wildlife Property Repository on the outskirts of Denver. Some 1.5 million items are being held at the facility. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is still under negotiation, would punish wildlife trafficking.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 1:36 pm

If you want a sobering look at the scale of wildlife trafficking, just visit the National Wildlife Property Repository on the outskirts of Denver. In the middle of a national refuge is a cavernous warehouse stuffed with the remains of 1.5 million animals, whole and in parts.

They range from taxidermied polar bears to tiny sea horses turned into key chains. An area devoted to elephants is framed by a pair of enormous tusks.

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Law
4:16 am
Tue January 6, 2015

2 Americans Face Charges Over Gambia Coup Attempt

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 8:34 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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National Security
2:23 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Obama Considers Listing North Korea A 'Sponsor Of Terrorism' After Sony Hack

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 6:49 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
2:43 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

New Cuba Relationship Could Be A Boon For American Farmers

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 4:58 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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